Arts for Advocacy training is being conducted with student WASH Clubs in each of the four countries where Live & Learn is implementing a WASH in Schools project. In Honiara, Solomon Islands, students made posters on hygiene, and designed murals to paint on newly installed group hand-washing facilities.
Creative activities such as painting, photography, video, drama, music, stories and dance are powerful tools to inspire people to change their thinking and actions. Arts-based activities tell powerful stories, raise visibility and inspire others to build culture and create stronger communities. Live & Learn Environmental Education has published the “Arts for Advocacy” guides for students and teachers. The activities in the Arts for Advocacy guidebooks focus on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), but the advocacy planning process in the guides can be used for student-led, creative advocacy positive change in many other areas. Student WASH Clubs and their mentor teachers in schools partnering with Live & Learn in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Fiji are using these guides to plan and implement WASH advocacy campaigns.
Students were given the opportunity to share their thoughts on some of the Arts for Advocacy activities. The students were keen to develop funny and colourful posters as one of their favourite activities. Teachers in Honiara also participated in their own Arts for Advocacy training, The in-service programs discuss child engagement principles and how to promote genuine student-led WASH Club activities. The teachers also get to be creative themselves, by trying some different arts-based activities to share hygiene messages.
Teachers have commented that they appreciate learning a structured approach to creative advocacy planning, how to build messages into arts-based activities and how to improve their personal creativity and techniques for effective behaviour change messages. The teachers have also commented that they are learning skills that are helping them with their other teaching work, such as setting realistic goals, and adding more creative energisers and games to their teaching practice.
The Arts for Advocacy Student and Teacher Guidebooks is available for download from the Arts for Advocacy website http://www.artsforadvocacy.org.au/. The website will evolve to share news and learning from the testing of the guidebooks until the completion of the WPSIP in June 2018. The Arts for Advocacy Guidebooks were published through the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing & Innovation Program, implemented by Live & Learn through funding from the Australian government through the Civil Society WASH Fund.